Why Creativity Matters to Me

Everyday Adventures
A corner of my studio, The Abyss; 3 shelving units stuffed to the gills with supplies.

One corner of my current studio, aka The Abyss; back when this story happened I had only a fraction of this.

Did I ever tell you the story about my second husband?

Without going into too many reasons he’s an ex, there was one moment in particular I wanted to share:

It was early 2005, we’d been married for just over 2 years, and that morning he was in a bad mood. So bad that it sorta permeated the house. And it happened even before I woke up that Saturday.

I admit, I was a bit chicken-shit and went back to bed to read until the storm-clouds passed or he’d had enough coffee or something.

Apparently I didn’t stay out the way quite long enough.

There was a fight. I don’t even remember how it started or what it was about, all told, but of the things I do remember, I remember him telling me I was absolutely forbidden from taking on another hobby or bringing another thing into his house.*

How many things are wrong with that sentence? I’ll let you figure that out.

That fight ended with him storming out. And in a couple months I’d moved out.

Not because of the hobby embargo, but because he’d come very close to hitting me that day, and it was closer than I really wanted to get.

I wish… I wish I was stronger back then. I wish I hadn’t let his idea that to disagree with him (or, heaven forbid, correct him) was a sign of disrespect. I wish a lot of things about me back then, but I also know that I was just trying to keep the peace and not rock the boat.

They say the biggest regrets are the things you don’t do.

So it was with not a little irony that I realized, a couple years later, with an entire second bedroom to house all of my “craft crap,” that I’d increased my income by 25% writing as the Arts & Crafts Expert for eHow.com. And that he who– despite the higher salary and not having to start over from scratch since it was, by god, his house and all–would call up whining about his lack of money, really shot himself in the foot on that one.

That contract ended in 2009, but the lessons I learned from it and the confidence it gave me to work on my own projects that much harder have stuck around.

Creativity, for me, is about exploration. It’s about doing something with my own hands and mind, of seeing ideas come to life because of something *I* did, because of something I dreamed up. It’s part instant gratification, part humiliation (because things don’t always go according to plan) and part further inspiration.

And it’s a way of looking at life, an I-can-do-that! mentality when so often what we hear is “no you can’t,”  “why bother” or, my personal ‘favorite’, “you’re just wasting your time.”

I’m not saying that by being a little creative each day you’re going to land a job at it or find any sort of fame and fortune–but you might. What’s most likely, though, is a better sense of self, of what you can do with your own two hands, and a helluva lot of pride in your own accomplishments.

So try something new, or something old. Dig out that crochet hook or paint-by-numbers set that’s getting dusty in a box somewhere. Pick up a new hobby, or half a dozen if you’ve got the time. Don’t be afraid to try.

Because the things you regret are the things you didn’t do.

Be creative today.

(*And just so you know, when those things were said I worked full time (like I have since graduating high school), paid my share of our bills and used only my own money for craft supplies, etc. And most of it was kept in the garage because the office we shared was already full of his desk, his computer equipment, and his aquarium. And don’t even get me started about how much closet space he had in 2 rooms and I didn’t.)

5 thoughts on “Why Creativity Matters to Me

  1. Wow, this is a really great post! And you couldn’t be more right! I’m so glad you’re in a better place now, creatively and otherwise. 🙂

  2. What a great post…and a great lesson. Thanks for sharing that story…and I’m very glad that you got out of that situation.

  3. Maybe I should write for e-how.com. 🙂

    In all seriousness, I’m glad you followed your heart, even if he tried to break yours. If you fight your creativity, you’ll only kill your soul.

    1. Alas, they’ve changed their business model, though the parent company (Demand Media) still takes freelance writers, I think.

      And, yes, everything happens for a reason and I’m admittedly stronger for my experiences–all of them!

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